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October 10 2013.

Mary’s Meals is a UK based charity started in 2002 with a view to providing one daily meal in a place of education in developing countries. The objective is to attract chronically poor children into a classroom where they can gain an education which can be their ladder out of poverty.

From a start of feeding 200 children In Malawi, the charity now provides meals for 750,000 children every day in 16 different countries. The cost is just £10.70 per child for a year.

Following the success of the meals project, the charity identified another obstacle which prevented poor families sending their children to school. The parents are so poor that they cannot afford to buy basic things needed for school, so the charity started a scheme called the Backpack Project, where schools, churches, colleges and other groups fill an old school bag or backpack with some everyday things which children need for school. Suitable items, (which do not need to be new), include backpack/schoolbag, exercise book/notepad, pencils/pens/crayons, eraser, ruler, pencil sharpener, pencil case, small towel, shorts, skirt, T-shirt, sandals, flip flops, small ball, spoon, toothbrush, toothpaste.

The Rotary Club of Seaford, working with Seaford Primary School, started to look at providing a number of filled bags that can be sent to deprived children throughout the world. The School contacted their children’s parents, and the response was staggering. Several packing sessions started, kicking off the plan which is hoped will be replicated at other schools both locally and nationally.

Pictured above: Rotary Club of Seaford president Michael Logan with Seaford Primary School children packing back packs.